Is Your Premarital Agreement Ironclad?
Premarital agreements are designed to protect the assets of a couple in the event that they divorce. Even though the agreements have a reputation for being ironclad, they are not as impenetrable as some people think. If you want to challenge your premarital agreement, here are some possible arguments you can use to do so.
The Agreement Has Invalid Clauses
One of the most commonly believed misconceptions about premarital agreements is that you can include anything in it and the court will uphold it. However, there are limits to what a premarital agreement can do. If any of the clauses of the agreement are invalid, you could possibly get a judge to disregard part or all of the agreement.
In most instances, the invalid clause usually pertains to issues that cannot legally be decided by the agreement. For instance, child-support payments cannot be decided by a premarital agreement. It is considered a public policy issue that must be reviewed by the court.
The Agreement Is Unreasonably Unfair
You have probably heard stories about people who were left without much after signing a premarital agreement. Although there are people who walk away from divorce with far less than their spouse, the court is not required to automatically uphold an unfair agreement. Whether the judge chooses to enforce the settlement depends on various factors.
For instance, if you did not sign a disclosure stating that you were aware of how lopsided the agreement was, you could potentially get the judge to disregard the agreement. You could argue that you did not have enough information to make a clear decision before signing.
The Agreement Was Not Properly Executed
Each state has requirements for how a premarital agreement has to be executed. If those requirements are not met, the agreement could be considered invalid. If that happens, the judge would have to treat the divorce according to state laws and not what was in the agreement.
For instance, if your state requires that there be two witnesses to the document, but there is only one witness's signature, the agreement could be invalidated. The same would hold true if only one spouse signed the agreement.
There are other situations in which a premarital agreement could be invalidated. Talk to your divorce attorney to get a professional assessment of your chances of challenging the agreement. You can also learn about what can happen if the agreement is allowed by the court.